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A Level Government and Politics at Lady Margaret School

Course description

This AS Level course offers you the opportunity to learn about how Britain is governed, to form a view about how effectively citizens are represented and to assess the strengths and weaknesses of our democracy. You will examine the British Constitution and how the judiciary upholds our laws. Students debate how elections are conducted and whether electoral systems need reform. You will study the ideologies of British political parties and the extent to which they hold true to these values today.

In Year 12 you will study how Parliament works, what the Prime Minister and Cabinet do. The subject is concerned with contemporary issues and considers how key current affairs link with the theoretical framework. In Year 13 you will concentrate on the Government and Politics of the USA, including the role and relationship between the three branches of government - the Presidency, Congress and the Supreme Court. The significance of the Constitution is also studied. You will look at the influence of pressure groups, at controversies relating to racial and ethnic politics, at the outcome of recent elections, as well as evaluating the workings of the electoral system. Students will also learn how to apply different concepts to institutions, for instance what is power and how it is different from authority? What are our duties and rights? How democratic is Britain?

Politics teaches you not just about how political systems work or to build a framework for understanding current affairs, but to be highly analytical, to write fluently, present confidently and argue effectively: all useful skills in the workplace.

The department runs a Year 12 trip to the Houses of Parliament and the UK Supreme Court. There are opportunities to attend relevant lectures, including British and American politics lectures at the LSE and UCL and international relations master classes at SOAS, as well as to assist with the running of the Borough Youth Council elections. At A2 Level, students attend a US Politics conference at the British Library with leading academics and members of Congress. The department has run a trip to the USA and previous students have undertaken work experience with Members of Parliament. The department has a track record of sending students to read Politics at University.

Entry requirements

A grade B or above in English Language. GCSE History is very useful but not essential. An interest in current affairs is extremely important.

Assessment

AS Level

Unit 1 People and Politics

Unit 2 Governing the UK

A2 Level

Unit 3C Representing Processes in the USA

Unit 4C Governing the USA

Unit 2 Governing the UK

Future opportunities

Politics prepares you for a wide range of careers. These include the fields of Public Affairs, Government and the Civil Service, Fundraising, Consultancy, Research, Lobbying, Market Research, Events Organisation and Education, as well as Law, Journalism and Business, amongst others.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Lady Margaret School directly.

Last updated date: 24 April 2015
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